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#NTSD16: Neighborhood Toy Store Day is Coming – Kick-Off the Holiday Season & Shop Local!

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NTSD logo 2016THE ROCK FATHER™ is a paid 2016 Neighborhood Toy Store Day Ambassador.

On Saturday, November 12, 2016, the seventh annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day will take place – a tradition in which families can come together to kick off the Holiday shopping season, while celebrating the good that local toy stores (find a location here) bring to their communities. Shopping local has many benefits, but when you shop a Neighborhood Toy Store, you’re supporting folks who care about play, and spend countless hours working with children, and carefully curating the perfect mix of toys for their shoppers. Sponsored by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting local toy shopping and creative, open-ended playtime for children, stores participating in Neighborhood Toy Store Day will be playing host to special events like face-painting and live music, in addition to highlighting some of the best toys of the year – many of which you won’t find elsewhere.

Being in the Chicagoland area, there’s a few great toy stores that come to mind here in the North ‘Burbs (Snickelfritz in Vernon Hills, Beanstalk in Highland Park), but I want to shout-out Building Blocks Toys in Chicago proper, who not only have activities at both locations, but GRAMMY-nominated Kindie superstar Justin Roberts performing live at their Wicker Park store during Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

best toysLooking for a great gift? Check out the Winners of the 2016 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Awards:

ACTIVE PLAY
  • Kidoozie Counting Pogo Jumper (International Playthings)
  • Slackers Ninjaline Intro Kit ( b4Adventure – Brand 44 LLC)
CHOOSE YOUR OWN CATEGORY
  • Rock and Roll It! (Piano – MukikiM Toys)
  • Sneaky Cards (Gamewright, a div of Ceaco)
CLASSIC PLAY 0-7 YEARS
  • Rat-A-Tat Cat (Gamewright, a div of Ceaco)
  • WOW Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred (Reeves International, Inc.)
CLASSIC PLAY 8+
  • Snap Circuits Jr. (Elenco Electronics)
  • Rubik Cube 3×3 (Winning Moves)
CONSTRUCTIVE PLAY 0-7 YEARS
  • Robot Engineer (Thames & Kosmos)
CONSTRUCTIVE PLAY 8+ YEARS
  • Geckobot (Thames & Kosmos)
CREATIVE ARTS PLAY 3-7 YEARS
  • Craft-tastic Kindness Kit (Ann Williams)
  • Fuzzeez™ Husky (The Orb Factory)
CREATIVE ARTS PLAY 8+ YEARS
  • Peacock Silk Painting (Hotaling / Djeco)
  • Sew Mini Treats (Klutz)
EARLY PLAY
  • SpinAgain (Fat Brain Toy Co.)
GAME PLAY 3-5 YEARS
  • Little Red Riding Hood (SmartGames)
  • Balance Beans (ThinkFun)
GAME PLAY 6+ YEARS
  • Happy Salmon (North Star Games)
GAME PLAY 8 YEARS+
  • Dr. Eureka (Blue Orange Games)
LEARNING PLAY
  • Code & Go™ Robot Mouse Activity Set (Learning Resources)


PRETEND—DOLL PLAY
  • Folkmanis® French Bulldog Puppet (Folkmanis® Puppets)
PRETEND—FANTASY PLAY
  • The Irish Fairy Door (The Irish Fairy Door Company | License-2-Play)
PRETEND—ROLE PLAY
  • Calico Critters Seaside Ice Cream Shop (International Playthings)
SCIENTIFIC PLAY
  • Hot Ice Crystals (Thames & Kosmos )

To find a participating Neighborhood Toy Store in your area, check out this handy locator, and be sure to shop local on November 12th!

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